Document Type



The Quebec population is one of the rare populations of its size for which genealogical information is available for an uninterrupted period of almost four centuries. This allows for in-depth studies on the formation and evolution of a young founder population. Using data from two major population registers, in this study we focus on the maternal and paternal lineages (i.e., strictly female or male genealogical lines) that can be traced back within the Quebec genealogies. Through the analysis of these lineages it is possible to characterize the founders who transmitted to the contemporary population their mitochondrial (for females) and Y-chromosome (for males) DNA. The basic material consists of 2,221 ascending genealogies of subjects who married in the Quebec population between 1945 and 1965. On average, more than nine generations of ancestors were identified among the lineages. Analyses of maternal and paternal lineages show that the number of paternal founders is higher and their origins and genetic contributions are more variable than that of maternal founders, leading to a larger effective population size and greater diversity of Y chromosomes than of mtDNA. This is explained for the most part by differential migratory patterns among male and female founders of the Quebec population. Comparisons of sex-specific genetic contributions with total genetic contribution showed a strong correlation between the two values, with some discrepancies related to sex ratio differences among the founders’ first descendants.